Second in Series: Ethnic Preferences on Features Most Wanted, Unwanted in a Home

Findings from the latest NAHB study on housing preferences, What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences, show there are similarities and differences in what home buyers of different racial/ethnic backgrounds most want to have in their homes.

An extensive list of more than 120 home and community features were rated by buyers as essential, desirable, indifferent, or ‘do not want’. Four features that are common to all four lists, i.e., they are really wanted by buyers of all racial/ethnic backgrounds:

  • A laundry room –the single-most wanted feature for all groups, except Asians who rank it 5th most wanted.
  • Energy-star rated appliances
  • Energy-star rating for the whole home
  • Exterior lighting

Three features that are relatively more important to minority buyers than to White buyers: living room, dining room and patio. Two features that make it into White buyers’ top 10 most wanted list, but are ranked lower by the three minority groups: garage storage and insulation higher than required by code.

When building homes, it is as critical to understand which features home buyers really want as it is to know which ones they do not want and will probably not pay for. The 10 most ‘unwanted’ features (out of the 120+ home and community features listed) included 7 of the 10 being common across the four rejection lists:

  • An elevator –the single-most unwanted feature across all four groups
  • Golf course community –second most unwanted feature across the board
  • High density community
  • Only a shower stall in the master bath (no tub)
  • Gated community (with a monthly fee of $100 to $200)
  • Wine cooler
  • Wet bar

The next post on this series based on the study What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences will cover the specific kitchen, bathroom and technology features most wanted by buyers of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Charts and more information on this second post on the NAHB survey series can be found here